Best friends and entrepreneurs Amy De Forest and Ammie Doherty are stitching their signature into Melbourne’s fashion scene. Their two year-old label is as imaginative as it is visionary, and is generating it’s own publicity and a wide interest amongst young Melbourne trend-setters.
A conversation over pizza and wine changed the dream of owning their own label into a reality. Starting off with a small Spring/Summer 2011 collection, they sold exclusively to only 20 boutique stores around Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide. A year and a half down the track, they have doubled their stockists and their Autumn/Winter collection is due to hit shelves in February and March, with plans to open stores in Western Australia later this year.
If you add to this a front cover spread on Fashion Journal’s 100th Edition and increased prominence on the pages of Melbourne’s fashion blogging culture, it seems these two 24 year-olds are on the quick road to success.
Although admitting that the reality of running and funding your own business got hard around the six month mark, the girls pushed through and weren’t scared off by the competitiveness of the industry. “In the first year of owning our business we were both working eighty hours a week minimum,” said Doherty. “But it’s good to have [the other] there to hold your hand when it gets tough.”
The girls find their point of difference in that they are the market to which they are designing for. “We create designer pieces at an affordable price. We are the market, and so we design for ourselves and other women can relate.” Ensuring their clothing is affordable to all women will be a consistency within the Amie & Me line.
Throughout our interview a few things grabbed my attention about the two go- getters. They are both involved in every aspect of the business – both design and garment construction to the finances, advertising and promotion. Interestingly, they like to think of themselves as best friends rather than business partners. They do everything together – work, play, socialise – and yes, they even finish each other’s sentences.
“We don’t ever fight,” said De Forest, “Ammie knows me better than anyone.” “Women our age can be erratic, insane and emotional, especially when under this amount of stress, but we completely support each other.”
Both Doherty and De Forest come from a strong background of fashion – Doherty studied design at RMIT in Brunswick, and De Forest studied design and product development at Melbourne School of Fashion. Despite their extensive study the girls know that being successful requires knowledge of the industry and of running a business.
So what can we expect for Amie & Me Autumn/Winter 2011? A goddess inspired collection featuring ivories, crochets and open shoulders. “The garments are draped and free flowing but still compliment the female silhouette. The typical client is feminine with a strong undertone of female perspective. It is for strong passionate women, like us,” said Doherty. From what has been previewed so far, there is a lot to look forward too for those looking to find wardrobe pieces that are different to anything else on the market.
The Amie & Me website is due to launch this week, and listed below are some stockists from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Make sure you get down to these stores as soon as the Autumn/Winter collection arrives, because I have a feeling it wont take long to sell out.
City Dweller – Brisbane, QLD
Drobe – Fortitude Valley, QLD
A-Store – Chapel St, VIC
Liquid Clothing – Fitzroy, VIC
Toyah Boutique – Eltham, VIC
Piink Boutique – Niddrie, VIC
To see the Amie & Me ‘Designer of the week’ feature head to http://www.collegefashionista.co.uk !!